William Allen Farm, Your
Maine Dream-Wedding Center
The Rehearsal Dinner - What not to do!
Years back, it was customary to hold a rehearsal dinner after a wedding ceremony run-through. It was attended by the bride and groom, the parents and family of both, the entire bridal party, and the Celebrant (usually a man of the cloth). The dinner was normally held at a restaurant. It was a semi-formal affair, and although it was set aside as a time for everyone to mix and mingle, it usually turned out to be an event in which the only people you mixed with were those who sat on either side of you.
Today, there are no rules. Rehearsal dinners happen with or without a ceremony run-through. They can be a stand-up cheese-and-crackers affair, a sumptuous banquet, or anything in between.
At William Allen Farm, we can provide for a tented lawn-rehearsal dinner, or a more formal event held in our famous, 200-year-old New England barn (you will need your own caterer to supply the food).
If you plan on holding your wedding ceremony at our farm, it’s advantageous to rehearse your wedding the evening before to prevent any problems that might arise. Everyone, from your parents to your bridal party, should understand what it is they need to do and at what point they need to do it.
It’s always a good idea to send out invitations to the rehearsal dinner. Responses will give you an accurate head count for your caterer. Invitations will also clear up sticky misunderstandings as to who is invited, and who is not, such as: What about Aunty Joan? She’s not really your aunt, but you’ve always called her aunty and she’s usually at the family functions. I’m certain she’ll want to know if she’s invited.
Whether you’re planning a simple after-rehearsal get-together, or a more elaborate rehearsal dinner party, here are a few “Don’ts” you may wish to consider:
1. Have a practice ceremony, don’t have a practice wedding. All too often, gracious hosts over-feed their guests the night before the wedding. Trust me, there are many who will not enjoy the dinner being served at your wedding if they’ve over-eaten the night before.
2. Don’t have an open bar at the rehearsal dinner. Keep the alcohol consumption to a minimum. Be on the safe side, beer and wine are adequate. Fruit punch, ice tea, soda, sparkling water, they’re all good. If you decide to serve alcohol, how much should you have on hand? Err on the side of too little rather than too much. Too many wedding photos are spoiled because family or bridal party members look like they feel—hung over.
3. Don’t start your rehearsal late in the evening, and keep it to one hour at most. People get bored and hungry mighty fast, especially children. You don’t want a cranky kid to spoil your evening.
4. Don’t choose a restaurant far from the rehearsal. Remember that cranky kid I was talking about? They come in all sizes and ages from 2 to 92.
5. Finally, don’t forget to have fun. You’re not the wedding planner (although you probably planned most of it yourselves). It’s not your job to make certain that people are having a good time. You’ve done your part, now it’s time to kick off your shoes, dance, take plenty of photos, and relax. Your big day is tomorrow.
If you do not plan to have your rehearsal dinner at William Allen Farm, here is a list of restaurants close by that you may wish to consider:
· Azure Café,
123 Main St., Freeport, ME 04032
· Harraseeket Inn,
162 Main St., Freeport, ME 04032
· Linda Bean
Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern, 88 Main St., Freeport,
· Conundrum Wine Bistro, 117 US-1,
(207) 865-0303 Freeport, ME
Grill House, Royal
River 106 Lafayette St., Yarmouth, ME 04096 (207) 846-1226
· The Brunswick Inn, 165 Park Row,
(207) 729-4914 Brunswick, ME
· Brunswick Inn and Tavern,
4 Noble St., Brunswick, ME 04011
· Enoteca Athena,
97 Main St., Brunswick, ME 04011